Defense Ministry general involved in Voentelecom fraudulent contracts

Defense Ministry general involved in Voentelecom fraudulent contracts
Major General Alexander Ogloblin

The Voentelecom accomplices of Central Communications Directorate head might have testified against him.

The Moscow District Military Court has taken to custody Major General Alexander Ogloblin, who had headed the 1st department of the Defense Ministry’s Central Communications Directorate until recently. Kommersant reported that the Investigative Committee of Russia accuses the general of an especially large-scale swindling (part 4 of Art, 159 of the Criminal Code). According to the investigation, Ogloblin, as the Customer in the government contract with JSC Voentelecom, could have had a secret agreement with the company’s leaders.

The case was initiated as early as 2013, following findings of inspections conducted by the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office. In late 2017, law enforcers detained Voentelecom general director Alexander Davydov, his deputy Oleg Savitsky, former adviser Dmitry Semiletov and the company’s financial director Evgeny Zhilkov. The offices of JSC Voentelecom and its partner companies in Moscow and St. Petersburg were combed.

According to the investigation, the telecommunications company used various schemes to substantially inflate prices while contracting with the Ministry of Defense, including their equipment supplies as part of the import substitution program. For example, the Ministry of Defense paid an average of 1 million rubles ($16.140) for a router, while its market value did not exceed 350.000 rubles ($5.650). Voentelecom also labeled Chinese goods as Russian ones.

The Ministry of Defense conducted a large-scale modernization of communication equipment. Alexander Ogloblin, then deputy head of the 1st department with the Central Communications Directorate, represented the Customer, Defense Ministry. He is believed to have had a few old friends among the telecommunications company’s leadership.

The general contractor received only about 10 million rubles ($161.400), the investigation found, while 25 times as much was used to pay for the services of quite a number of proxies of the Voentelecom head. The total estimated damage from the theft is 460 million rubles ($7.4m). However, the Defense Ministry expects to collect 1.261 billion rubles ($20.4m) from Voentelecom through arbitration courts.

Dmitry Semiletov, one of the defendants, who used to be the adviser to Voentelecom general director, signed a pre-trial cooperation agreement and revealed the complex scheme they had used to commit the thefts, specifying the role of each of his accomplices. According to Kommersant’s sources, it was his testimony that formed the basis of the criminal case against Ogloblin. However, Semiletov's lawyers claim that he has never even talked to the general or given testimony against him, and the company’s top managers could have been the testifiers. 



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